Post # 1
Yesterday I came across an article about a law student who used the refund from her student loans (the extra left over after tuition is paid for, which is credited to the student) to put a down payment on a house!
The comments following the article were from other students, both undergrad and grad, who had used their refunds for things from the normal purchases of books, gas for commuting, to more expensive things like paying off credit card debt, buying cars, vacations, etc. And of course, somebody had used part of their refund to buy their wedding dress!
I found this interesting…. has anyone here ever used part of a student loan refund for your wedding, or something else non-school related??
Post # 3
@Dimples723: I have not, but students live off of student loan funds all of the time. It’s not as uncommon as you think. While I know more graduate students to do this than undergrad, undergrad students do it as well. Some students do not work while in school and rely on that money to live. Others take advantage and buy frivolous things with the extra cash. What most fail to realize is that you have to pay that money back!
Post # 4
When I was in school (ill be honest here).. I used my stipend check for alcohol and for my apartment rent.
Now that I work at a university as the Assistant director for Admissions.. we recommend our students NOT take stipends now.. unfortunately the governmenet has limited both pell and loan lifetime limits.. and those $2k,3k,6k checks that students are receving are being applied to those lifetime max. amounts and some students are now not able to get enough aid to finish a four year degree because they take the stipends.
Post # 5
Oh yea. Because my father was laid off when his job moved overseas when I first started college, I qualified for some awesome grants and took some extra loans out to pay for gas because I commute 45 minutes everyday. And he finally found another good paying job and by that time I was over 23 so I was given loans and grants by my income which is barely nothing. I work, but sometimes my hours get cut so this was always used as an emergency fund. I also buy clothes at the beginning of each semester as well as books and I just bought a new computer. My lap top was 6 years old. I needed a new one.
I also used my loans this past semester for some paper chinese lanterns and my favors for my wedding, I realize that I do have to pay these back soon, and with interest, but it’s nice to know I don’t have to work my ass off at school full time and have to have a full time job as well. Is it a bit irresponsible? Yes. But it is nice to have the money if something were to go wrong.
Post # 6
I think that’s normal…she could have put it into rent, but toward a house instead. Like another poster said, most people I know put it toward booze! LOL.
Post # 7
I find all of your responses really interesting! I know some undergrads who have bought big screen TVs and furniture for their dorms etc.. I only have loans for grad school, and I’ve mainly just used mine for gas, books, and a new laptop battery, and to pay the interest on the un-subsidized part of my loans.
But, I’m preparing to move overseas and I was thinking of using a little for some unexpected expenses and then “paying myself back”.
I could definitely see paying off my credit cards though, esp if the interest rates are significantly different.
Thanks for all of your input so far!
Post # 8
I have used some of my stipends for extra things here and there. Usually bills, car repairs, clothes for my daughter and I (not lavish shopping sprees-the bare minimum). I did buy my wedding dress and undergaremnts with my stipend this past quarter ($350 total). I know I have to pay it all back, I am completely aware. But 95% of the time, like I said, I use it for bills, clothes, food, clothing, car repairs, gas, books especially (I refuse to pay outrageous book store prices).
But others I have seen spend it on big screens, partying, vacations, ect. That’s their choice- they are the ones that have to pay it back. Either like their supposed to or when their wages get garnished. If they want to “p*ss it all away” oh well, thats their issue lol!
I think the woman in the article you read is awesome for doing that. Thats a MUCH better way to spend the money. She probably saved money using her student loan $ than a specific home loan.
Post # 9
Oh goodness, I definitely have. My parents are divorced and haven’t been able to really give me anything or support me at all, so from my freshman year of undergraduate school I have been supporting myself, including paying for my books, prescriptions, doctor visits, etc. I have used my refunds in order to buy my car I have now, I wouldn’t have been able to get it otherwise! And on living expenses like shampoo, toothpaste… pretty much everything. I would have been lost without it.
I definitely know people who have spent it on alcohol etc, but that’s just rediculous. I have no wasted it these last four years, and it’s really been a lifesaver!!
Post # 10
I mean, it just goes into the same account as all of my part-time paychecks, so I can’t tell you what I used that on vs what I used my money earned for.
In the past, I had a separate account with cash from jobs, and I tried to only use that one for going out, etc. Someone would have to really get into my account and root around to add up all of the legit expenses vs. the frivolous ones to decide where the refund is going- I doubt they’re going to do it though. They could. I KNOW that refund doesn’t even begin to cover “room and board, transportation, etc” which are all approved expenses.
I don’t think I’d come right out and say that I used it for a wedding dress though, lol. (Auditors: I didn’t)
Post # 11
I took out the minimum I needed (actually less than I needed) and then paid the rest with my own savings.
However, I kind of had a rule for myself. Don’t use borrowed money to pay off borrowed things (aka like a mortgage).
I did have to buy a car one year in grad school. I was in a divorce and actually carless for 8 months. It was starting to snow – and biking in the cold and getting groceries in the snow on a bike was just not fun. It was a really cheap car, like $2,000.
Post # 12
seems like everyone has similar views….
@sienna76: i definitely agree with that rule not to pay for borrowed things with borrowed money
thank goodness I elected to get the refund direct deposited… i’m replacing the money we use as fast as I can, but it’s certainly turning out to be a nice cushion as I get ready for this move overseas
Post # 13
Since we are grad students and will be for the next bajillion years, we are using part of our refund to help pay for our wedding, otherwise we’d never get married. Fiance has a full-tuition scholarship and my tuition is less than $2500 a semester, plus we hold full-time jobs–our loans are at a lower rate than a credit card (2%), interest free until graduation (that changes this fall) and can be used towards living expenses, so we can be picky about how much we borrow. Since the money goes into our regular checking account, I couldn’t give you exactly what percent is income and what is loan refund, but we justify it by using our paychecks to pay for weddings expenses and our refunds to pay for living expenses–also our wedding will be less than $8k which is one loan disbursement for Fiance.
Post # 14
I’m using my student loan refunds from grad school to put a big dent in my undergrad loans. Then I’ll get tuition reimbursement from work and use that towards it as well.
Post # 15
I never did. I always worked for my spending money on top of school, so I didn’t see the point of paying interest in my “fun money” or rent or whatever when I could just work and support myself. If people want to do it, that’s their call. Although, technically, student loans are used for any “living expenses,” so I guess I could see how some of these others can fall into that category!